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The effect of EMG triggered electrical stimulation plus task practice on arm function in chronic stroke patients with moderate-severe arm deficits

Singer, B.J, Vallence, A.M.ORCID: 0000-0001-9190-6366, Cleary, S., Cooper, I. and Loftus, A.M (2013) The effect of EMG triggered electrical stimulation plus task practice on arm function in chronic stroke patients with moderate-severe arm deficits. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 31 (6). pp. 681-691.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/RNN-130319
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Abstract

PURPOSE: We examined the feasibility and outcome of electromyographically triggered electrical muscle stimulation (EMG-ES) plus unilateral or bilateral task specific practice on arm function in chronic stroke survivors with moderate-severe hemiplegia. Transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to examine inter-hemispheric inhibition (IHI) acting on the stroke-affected hemisphere in a subset of eight participants. METHODS: Twenty-one stroke survivors (14 males; mean time post stroke 57.9 months) participated in this pilot investigation. Participants underwent a six-week program of daily EMG-ES training with random assignment to concurrent task practice using the stroke-affected hand only or both hands. The upper-extremity subscale of the Fugl-Meyer (FMUE) and the Arm Motor Ability Test (AMAT) were completed at baseline, 0-, 1-, and 3-months post-intervention. RESULTS: Following the intervention, FMUE (F(3, 57) = 3.89, p = .01, etap2 = .17) and AMAT (F(3, 57) = 12.6, p = .01, etap2 = .39) scores improved, and remained better than baseline at three months re-assessment. The difference between groups was not significant. A non-significant decrease in IHI was observed post-intervention. CONCLUSIONS: An intensive program of EMG-ES assisted functional training is feasible, well tolerated, and leads to improvements in moderate-severe deficits of arm function post stroke. Larger placebo controlled studies are needed to explore any advantage of bilateral over unilateral EMG-ES assisted training.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: IOS Press
Copyright: The Author
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/27836
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